By Heidi Sutton
In perfect harmony with autumn and Halloween, a special little pumpkin patch has sprouted in Smithtown; one that sings and dances and teaches us that the things that make you different make you special.
In partnership with the Smithtown Historical Society, the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts presents a socially distant outdoor production of Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The Musical on the society’s grounds through October.
Based on the animated film Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano and Tom Hughes and the book The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Troiano, it tells the story of a square pumpkin living in a round pumpkin patch and his struggle to fit in.
It’s Halloween and all of the pumpkins at Holiday Hill Farm are hoping that Farmer Hill will choose them as the Pick of the Patch this year, the highest honor a pumpkin can receive. Jack Scarecrow introduces the audience to the top contenders — Big Tom and Little Tom who are attached by a vine and Bobo the perfectly round and pretty pumpkin. When a square pumpkin named Spookley appears from under a leaf he is immediately bullied by Little Tom who convinces the other pumpkins to shun him because he looks different.
Spookley makes friends with Jack and three spiders, Edgar, Allen and Poe, who encourage him to try out for the Pick of the Patch contest but he has lost his confidence because of the constant teasing. When a mighty storm appears and all the round pumpkins start rolling away toward the river, Spookley realizes it is up to him and his square shape to save the day. Will they stop teasing him now? Will he win the contest?
Directed by Jordan Hue, with musical direction by Melissa Coyle, choreography by Courtney Braun and costumes by Ronnie Green, the professional young cast of 13 give a flawless performance and succeed in bringing this sweet treat and its important message to life during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Special mention must be made of Kieran Brown who is perfectly cast as the soft-spoken and kind Spookley and Max Lamberg as Little Tom who steals the show with his incredible personality. This adorable show has it all — a terrific cast, wonderful songs and an important lesson. Your kids will love it!
The cast: Gabrielle Arroyo, Ava Bernardo, Gabby Blum, Kieran Brown, Max Lamberg, Emmerson Lebrecht, Stephanie Nigro, Dylan O’Leary, Logan O’Leary, Adrienne Porti, Savannah Shaw, Ari Spiegel, and Justin Walsh Wiener
The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts presents Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The Musical in the open air outdoor performance space behind the Smithtown Historical Society’s Roseneath Cottage, 239 Middle Country Rd., Smithtown on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. Running time is one hour with no intermission. Masks are required and costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $18 per person. For a complete schedule and to order tickets, visit www.smithtownpac.org.
Photos by Courtney Braun